15:00 – Nadal v Berdych
Rankings are 2 aand 20. Head to heads are 5-3 to Nadal. Berdych’s 3 wins came in 2005/06 and were all on hard courts. That was before Nadal became better on surfaces other than clay.
Nadal struggled against the top players in the world in the ATP finals but as the final is played on clay this should be a straight sets win. If he were to lose to Berdych on clay he would probably retire from the game!
Betfair has Nadal to win at 1.16 but interestingly in the set betting he is 1.98 to win in 3 straight sets ( these games are best of 5). Their previous 4 matches were all straight set Nadal wins although in each match one of the sets went to 7-5 or 7-6.
How to trade it depends on whether or not we think that Berdych can take the first set, or at least keep it close. If you think he can then laying Nadal from the start is the way to go. Don’t get greedy though as Nadal won’t lose the match.
Personally I will be backing the Nadal 3-0 in the sets market at 1.98. I’d expect the price to drop a great distance if he wins the first set and I will green out then. I won’t be using huge stakes though.
Update: The 3-0 set market didnt drop as much as I thought it might, probably because the set was so close. Had I greened up after Nadal broke serve in the very first game of the match I would have taken the same profit as I got for waiting until he won the set. Ofcourse if I had let it run a couple of games into the second set the profit would have been a lot more but that wasn’t the plan. Greened up for £26.
I then watched the scoreboard as Nadal walked all over Berdych in the next 2 sets!
Nadal won 7-5, 6-0, 6-2
17:30 – Ferrer v Stepanek
Rankings are 18 and 12. Head to heads are 3-3. They are 1-1 on clay.
Ferrer hasn’t had a great end to the season but is a claycourt specialist. Both their meetings on clay went to a deciding set. Stepanek would be my favourite if this was on a hard court but on clay its pretty even.
15-40 will work on this game, as will the scalping method. If Ferrer had finished the season a little better then backing him on serve or from the start would be an option but he has looked very shaky. You could watch the first few games to get a feel for who is on top.
The surface gives the Spaniard a slight edge for me but only a slight edge.
Update: It seemed as though Ferrer wasn’t over his injury. He failed to hold serve in the first set, gaining his only game by breaking Stepanek’s serve.
The second set was also one sided. I traded the first set and a couple of games of the second and left it at that.
I wasn’t paying too much attention after that until I noticed that Ferrer was a break up in the 3rd set. It was tempting to get involved again but from experience I know I usually cock it up so if I have a decent green I leave well alone.
Ferrer won the set and then pulled level at 2 sets all. The 5th set was incredibly close and the deadlock was finally broken by Ferrer at 6-6. No tie breaks in the final set here so the winning player had to win by 2 clear games. He held serve to complete an amazing come back.
Ferrer won 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 8-6.